Stating there was need to improve the quality of higher education in India, President Pranab Mukherjee Saturday expressed concern over Indian universities not figuring among the top institutions across the world.
"Today there in no Indian university amongst the top 200 universities in the world. This situation must be improved," Mukherjee said the valedictory function of the golden jubilee celebrations of the Dayanand Education Society here.
To achieve the objective of a knowledge-based society and for expansion of education, "we have to emphasize on accessibility and affordability", he added.
There are no Indian universities in the top 200 in the world in the prestigious QS World University Rankings for 2012-13. However, a few Indian universities have broken into the top 50 for certain subjects.
The English departments of Jawaharlal Nehru University and Delhi University figure in the top 50 English departments in the QS World University Rankings. The Delhi and Bombay IITs figures in the top 50 departments of Computer Science and Information Systems.
The president said the education sector has expanded significantly.
"The total number of students enrolled in this sector was 2.6 crore at the end of the eleventh plan period. This number is projected to increase to 3.6 crore at the end of the 12th Plan period," the president said.
He added: "We have over 650 degree awarding institutions and over 33,000 colleges. But we are short of good quality academic institutions, on account of which many bright students prefer going abroad for higher studies."